15. Festival of Traditional
and Avantgarde Music

24-28 May 2023

PROGRAM - BIT20 / OPHEIM / BERGBY – Matre / Thorensen

BIT20 / OPHEIM / BERGBY – Matre / Thorensen

28 May 2023 / Sunday / 17:00

9 Zlota St. The Dominican Friars’ Monastery

Ørjan MATRE – Terskelsongar / premiera polska

Lasse THORESEN – Løp, Lokk Og Linjer / premiera polska



  • BIT20 Ensemble
  • Ingela ØIEN – Flute
  • Hege SELLEVÅG – Oboe
  • Håkon NILSEN – Clarinet
  • James LASSEN – Bassoon
  • Danilo KADOVIC – Horn
  • Jon BEHNCKE – Trumpet
  • Grethe W. TONHEIM – Trombone
  • Owen WEAVER – Percussion
  • Trond Jarle MADSEN – Percussion
  • Johannes WIK – Harp
  • Jutta MORGENSTERN – Violin 1
  • Martin Phillip SHULTZ – Violin 2
  • Liene KLAVA – Viola
  • Agnese RUGEVICA – Cello
  • Callum Hay JENNINGS – Contrabass
  • Thorolf THUESTAD – Sound Design
  • Berit OPHEIM – Soloist
  • Ingar BERGBY – Conductor

Artistic director of the BIT20 Ensemble: Trond MADSEN
Producer: Kjetil FLUGE
Prod. assistant: Elén Amalie LEIREN



Ørjan MATRE – Terskelsongar (“Threshold songs”)

Terskelsonger was written for BIT20 Ensemble and the folk singer Unni Løvlid. The piece is based on four Norwegian folk tunes that are all related to death. The title refers to death as the final threshold, but also to the French composer Gérard Grisey’s piece “Quatre chants pour franchir le seuil” (Four songs about crossing the Threshold).


Lasse THORESEN – Løp, Lokk og Linjer (2001-2003)

Løp, lokk og linjer – Chases, Cattle Calls and Charts – is a suite for traditional singer and sinfonietta, in five movements. Three of the movements were premiered at the Ultima Festival 2002 and the work was first performed in its entirety at the Autunnale Festival the same year.  The soloist was Berit Opheim.  I have written for her in more than ten years; e.g. it is now ten years since she performed a number of my Sacred Songs in Salle Olivier Messiaen.  She uniquely combines Norwegian folk music’s keen ear for tonal nuances and ornamentation with classical music’s demands on precision, familiarity with musical notation and voice projection.

Ørjan MATRE (1979) – Composer

He studied composition at the Norwegian Academy of Music with Bjørn Kruse, Lasse Thoresen, Olav Anton Thommessen and Henrik Hellstenius. He was composer-in-residence with Kristiansand Symphony Orchestra for the 2006-2008 seasons, and in the 2012-2013 season Matre was selected by the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra astheir featured composer.

He has distinguished himself as a distinct voice in Norwegian music, and has been awarded high- profile commissions by leading performers, ensembles and orchestras.

Matre belongs to a generation of Norwegian composers who early in their career explored and adopted the large orchestral format. In his breakthrough composition Fourminiatures for orchestra Matre elegantly addresses the contrast between the orchestra and the strong tradition of the miniature in the short history of Norwegian art music.

Despite the fact that Matre repeatedly puts his compositional skills to the test with finely-wrought textures and risk-taking instrumentation, or by introducing quotations, instruments and playing techniques that challenge established musical preconceptions, his meticulous approach has led to repeated performances and a growing international audience.


Lasse THORESEN (1949) – Composer

Lasse Thoresen is a professor of composition at the Norwegian State Academy of Music where he has taught composition, electro-acoustic music, and sonology since 1975. A number of his works have achieved wide recognition both in Norway and internationally. The sinfonietta BIT20 Ensemble has taken his Løp, Lokk og Linjer on several tours abroad, and Nordic Voices has performed his music regularly during their tours.


Berit OPHEIM (1967) – Soloist

Berit Opheim is one of Norway’s most beloved traditional singers. With a curious approach to music, she is continuously moving towards new expressions in medieval music, contemporary – and improvised music. Many listeners have gravitated towards Opheim due to her musical versatility and willingness to explore different genres. She started her career in the late 1980s and is known for her warm stage presence and voice. The piece “Løp, lokk. og linjar” is written especially for Berit Opheim.


Ingar BERGBY (1964) – Conductor

Ingar Bergby is one of Norway’s leading conductors, with many achievements within classical music, opera, contemporary and crossover music. He has distinguished himself as an artist with the power to shape ideas and with great dedication to his work.

Ingar Heine Bergby was born on 4 February 1964 in Sarpsborg, where his musical family brought him into the corps movement. He is a trained clarinetist with professor Richard Kjelstrup at the Norwegian Academy of Music. Later, Bergby studied orchestra conducting with Professor Karsten Andersen at the same place, and at the Sibelius Academy with Jorma Panula. He took a diploma in orchestra conducting in 1991.


BIT20 Ensemble

The BIT20 Ensemble is an award-winning sinfonietta orchestra based in Bergen, Norway, and was founded in 1989. Their seminal recordings with composers such as Arne Nordheim, Vinko Globokar and György Ligeti has led to international recognition. The ensemble won a Norwegian Grammy in 2020 for «The Exotica Album» by composer Øyvind Torvund. BIT20 Ensemble performs a broad repertoire of contemporary music in a great variety of arenas; the ensemble is a conveyor of the musical traditions of recent decades. Their goal is to present the most adventurous ideas in modern music, and to document its rich history. They are continually striving to rethink how to present the music they love.


Trond MADSEN – Artistic Director of BIT20 Ensemble

Trond Madsen has had the artistic responsibility for the BIT20 Ensemble since March 2018 and is appointed Artistic Director throughout 2023. He started his professional conducting career in 2012 when appointed Assistant Conductor and Artistic Advisor for Baldur Brönniman and the BIT20 Ensemble. This position was held until the end of 2015. Prior to this he has had a long and diverse career as a professional musician. Since 2012 he has enjoyed an extensive career as a conductor, musician and artistic developer.

His experience as an artist covers a wide range of repertoire and genres.



The BIT20 Ensemble concert was co-financed by EEA funds under Action 2 “Improving access to culture and the arts”.


Free tickets available


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Projekt „BIT20” został dofinansowany z Funduszy Europejskiego Obszaru Gospodarczego w ramach Działania 2. „Poprawa dostępu do kultury i sztuki”.

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